Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) launched the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) for the South African Navy on 25 March.
The 600+t vessels will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing the capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing. DSCT Project Manager, Ian Stewart, commented that the launch is an important milestone for the shipyard. “This is the culmination of three years of hard work by a dedicated team of people. Ultimately, more than one million man-hours of work will be invested in the construction of the three MMIPVs.”
The vessel was moved by night to the Transnet National Ports Authority synchrolift at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Basin. Moving at night to minimize disruption to traffic resulted in other challenges which were, however, overcome in close collaboration between the multiple organisations coordinating such a complex move.
Testing of the ship systems will now commence, before the vessel will be formally delivered to ARMSCOR, on behalf of the South African Navy, before year-end. The MMIPVs are built to the patented Damen AXE BOW design, which ensures low resistance, high sustained speed in waves and superior sea-keeping characteristics in the toughest conditions. As vertical accelerations are reduced significantly and bow-slamming almost eliminated, the safety of the vessel and crew increases considerably, reducing operational risk. The multi-mission deck is used for supporting diving, search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.
“Our local skills transfer and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) initiatives mean that we are not only contributing to the South African economy but ensuring that our local South African maritime market is less reliant on imports from international suppliers. DSCT fully supports the transfer of technology, inclusion of local companies in the execution projects, and stimulation of export transactions under the Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) programme, which particularly focuses on benefiting SMMEs, Military Veteran (MV) Owned Entities and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) -compliant Entities. The partnerships formed during this project have led to the successful launch of the MMIPV. One can truly state that the MMIPVs have been built in South Africa, by South Africans for South Africa,” stated Eva Moloi, DSCT HR & Transformation Manager.